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Hello and welcome to the movie blog of author John DeFrank - FilmZ and Guy Sobriquet Malone - Researcher

RBG Documentary


RBG Quick Review by Guy S Malone, Researcher

On the surface, Ruth Bader Ginsburg seems too quiet, mousy even, to be one of the leading minds of American jurisprudence for more than a half-century.  Indeed, if confronted with that truth, she might drop her eyes for a moment, blush, and go silent.  We don't know if RBG ever read Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, but she seems to be a living emblem of Taoist philosophy:

Silence is a source of great strength.  This diminutive woman comes across as so soft-spoken and unassuming it is hard to believe that she was arguably the strongest influence during the seminal days of the women's movement.  In the 1970s, as Director of the Women's Rights Movement of the ACLU, she argued six landmark cases before the US Supreme Court, winning five.

When the best leader's work is done, the people say, 'we did it ourselves.'  Even many of RBG's most ardent fans are not aware of her standing at the summit of women's rights--or her many other accomplishments.  It is only in retrospect that her achievements are recognized.

Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.  She wasn't even one of Bill Clinton's top choices for Supreme Court nominee.  As he worked down his list of candidates and met her he was even less impressed--until she spoke.  She sold him in minutes, and then she sold the Senate Committee; even Conservative Orrin Hatch ended up singing her praises, despite deep philosophical differences.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  She graduated first in her class at Cornell in 1954.  One of the first women accepted into Harvard Law School, she became the first woman to be named to the Harvard Law Review (top 25 out of more than 500 in a hostile, male-centric program).  When her husband Martin took a job as a New York tax attorney, she transferred, finishing first in her class at Columbia Law School where she later became the school's first tenured law professor.

Being deeply loved gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage.  As impressive as is her legal career, equally so is the love story of Ruth and Martin.  They were college sweethearts, Ruth was quiet and reticent while Martin was a gregarious jokester, both were as driven professionally as they were smitten with each other--potentially a recipe for disaster, in reality a story of strength and courage rooted in love.

At 1:38, RBG might seem long for a documentary.  It's not.  Serfing Dude, Don Swedanya, FilmZ, and I joined a near-capacity crowd in our art house cinema.  At times during the film, spontaneous applause broke out; other times, tissues dabbed at eyes.  In the end, in these divisive times, it was a wonderful shared experience to see what an American hero and true patriot looks like.
8.5 out of 10



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